Author Kunishiko Hidaka never gets to finish his popular serialised novel, instead, seemingly mid-sentence, he is murdered and his body found by his wife Rei and best friend and fellow writer Osamu Nonoguchi. Enter one Detective, Kyochiro Kaga, an insightful and painstaking operator poised to sift fact from fiction.
Identifying the killer is one thing, but understanding the motive is a far more demanding task and is at the heart of this complex and understated Japanese thriller. [Larger font]
A rare occasion - we ALL read the book and we all loved and admired the skill, story, pace - everything!
We found the book to be a quick page turner with lots of twists. It gave insights into how authors lead us into judging characters. In the end there is an interesting connection to school bullying that promoted a lot of conversation in our group. Also an interesting glimpse into Japanese culture, but left us wishing this had been fleshed out more.
While the group enjoyed the plot twists, and found the device of using an unreliable narrator interesting, we felt the characters weren't fleshed out enough for the reader to really connect with them, which made it a somewhat unsatisfactory read. Usually in detective novels you feel you know the detective and all his/her foibles and that's what keeps you reading the series, but that was not the case with Malice.
We enjoyed this book and were intrigued by the clever plot. Some of our members now want to read his other books. The questions led to a lively discussion.
A deceptively simple book which proves to be anything but. Cleverly written, rendering it unputdownable. Well loved by all.
Most of us really liked this book. We loved the writing technique of the unreliable narrator, and the intriguing complications and red herrings the author used to keep us guessing. Some found the translation rather stilted, and we were not sure whether the writing was typical of Japanese authors. The book also showed the importance of reputation in Japan, and the effects of childhood bullying which reach well into adulthood (universal theme). An absorbing story.
Some were not sure they liked the story, but couldn't stop reading it. The unreliable narrator style of writing was frustrating for some and they felt short changed. Some nuances may have been lost in translation. Overall, all enjoyed after discussion, but wouldn't recommend as a "must read."
Most enjoyed "Malice" very much and found it a page turner. However, some found the 'unreliable narrator' frustrating - even annoying.
Our group found this book very interesting. Quite a different style making a refreshing change. A very enjoyable read with lots of twists.
Our group thought the book felt like an academic exercise and that the plot was clever, but appeared contrived. Some people thought the detective's character was interesting and appealing. The book initiated some depth of discussion regarding bullying.
Everyone enjoyed this book, strange as it is. Not your typical whodunnit as the guilty one is named in the very beginning. Instead it is more of a character study between the villain and the detective. Lots of twists and turns that make it unguessable but done in a believable way. Very engaging. This is not the best book by this author, you should try The Devotion Of Suspect X. That is a top class detective novel that transcends the genre to be simply a stunning book.